It's become part of our daily conversation 'What are the numbers?' We watch and wait, hoping that the evenings announcement will see a decrease in the number of Covid cases. Sadly those numbers keep increasing. World wide the figures tell a depressing story: almost 32.5 million cases and very close to 1 million deaths. Closer to home it's not much better: 34,313 cases and 1,800 deaths. Counties are being moved to Level 3 and the possibility of more to follow is practically certain. To try and control Covid, our acting Medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn reports 'todays numbers' to the nation. The message is simple 'Stay safe, Save lives.' There is no rounding up or rounding down - every number is counted because every number represents a person, a family member or friend. Numbers are recorded and announced because saving peoples lives matter.
Unknown to most, another set of numbers has recently been published. The first full year of legal abortions in Ireland was 6,666 not including the 375 abortions that took place by travelling to England - that's a total of 7,041. Of course they are not just numbers. Every number represents an unborn life, the end of a life. The 'numbers' tell a sad story: 96.8 pc of abortions were undertaken under Ground C (physical and mental health of the mother); a further 2.9 pc were carried out under ground E (physical or mental abnormalities of the foetus); and the rest under Ground D (physical and mental health of other children in the family).
What these 'numbers' reveal is that abortion in Ireland is primarily a convenient choice, not a life saving choice. It seems that while the life of those who are born matters, the life of the unborn do not matter. Saving Lives it seems only matters for some.
But perhaps our assessment that the lives of those who are born matters is not quite true. While our Government reminds us of the 'daily covid numbers', Gino Kenny TD announced this week that his Dying with Dignity Bill has been selected for a Second Stage debate and vote next Thursday, 1st October. This bill is a radical piece of legislation that will enable anyone who has a terminal illness to be euthanised and the person does not need to be near the end of their life to do so.* It's a tragic contradiction to the governments mantra 'Stay safe, Save lives!
In practise, as every other country who has made the taking of life legal has proved, it will permit doctors to help the suicide of anyone suffering of an incurable illness (Dementia; Parkinsons; Motor Neurone Disease; MS, and other conditions), at any stage, even if they are not at the end of their life. In fact the only criteria will be 'likely to die'. Those with such diagnosis can, on request, be given a lethal drug after 14 days to end their life.
Perhaps those who sadly contract Covid will be at risk of another 'pandemic' sweeping our world - Euthanasia. I wonder how the numbers will be calculated then!